Banana Republicanism

Heaven and OpenSecrets.org know the Democrats have succumbed just as whole-souledly as the Republicans to the DarkSide of  Money Lords,  Campaign Funding and Special Interest Lobbying. For example, the just concluded Midterm elections cost $4B and saw outside spending by Liberal/Democratic groups increasing by 100% and Conservative Republican groups by 700% to a new high of $250 million – with the Democrats raising $1.3B and the Republicans just under $1B. So both parties are big in the SellOut-to-the-Highest Bidder Game.

This then raises the issue of who is going to stand up to the SuperRich who are now running the economy to their great favor – see this excellent overview by NYTimes Frank Rich  and  then Wikipedia’s coverage in case you are in any doubt. Also consider the issue of the Bush Tax Cuts which under Bush and  a Republican Congress were not paid for with corresponding spending  cuts back in 2002 .  Thus launching the US on its spendthrift and then Spend-to-Avoid-a-Depression-Disaster ways.

The most effective way to deal with the  Bush Tax cuts is to continue them for the Middle Class and discontinue those tax cuts for those earning  greater $250,000. The result would be $50-70B/year more for the  Treasury from recovered taxes.  But the SuperRich including the top 1% of US earners[ who own 23.5% of all the US Wealth ] will have none of that . So they are lobbying hard to make those tax cuts permanent a)despite the dire financial straits the country is in  and b)the fact many of them are responsible for putting the country into that financial plight.

Whose Protecting Whom

On the  issue of Bush Tax Cuts, the Democrats have been arguing that they should be repealed except for an exemption for the middle and lower classes. Meanwhile the Republicans have been showing where they get their money and votes – and are therefore campaining hard to make the Bush Tax cuts permanent. Ditto for any Energy Reform  [with consequent  continued dependency on oil from some  foreign sources]and meaningful Tax Reform.  It is as if the Republicans are campaigning hard for their sponsors to make the US a true Banana Republic where the SuperRich by their influence buying, effectively control the major economic direction and distribution of wealth in the country.

So the Republicans are out to protect their special interests . But if you look at many of those groups – gay intolerants, abortion opponents, Christian prayers in schools advocates, gun control leniency advocates, and other wedge issues – those contituents stand to lose as more wealth accrues to the SuperRich.  But even worse, the Republicans since the Reagan era have had Conserative tactic to deliberately “Starve the Beast” – act in economically  imprudent ways so that overspending forces through unsustainable deficits the US to the brink of  disaster – and then and only then will measures be enacted to rid government of the social safety net [Social Security, Health Care + Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, etc]  that are, in the SuperRich’s view not making the country more livable, but ruining it. So the Republicans are  in favor of sustaining the Bush tax cuts to satifsy its SuperRich constituents and to push the US ever closer to financial disaster.  In effect, they appear to be creating a Banana Republicanism  that is most cynical and  near-treasonous. Take a Fifth of the hard stuff if these conclusions are right on Denmark.

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